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Treating Worker Burn Injuries A Cooperative Effort in Washington

Burn injuries are some of the most painful and debilitating injuries a worker can suffer on the job. According to federal labor statistics, nearly half of adult burn patients do not return to work two years after their injury and nearly a third never return to work at all. Thankfully, some states are taking a proactive approach in helping patients with burn injuries heal physically and emotionally, possibly even enough to return to work. Washington is one of those states, and it has taken a leadership role in the treatment of work-related burn injuries. The Washington Department of Labor and ... Read More

Novel new diabetes treatment fares well in clinical trials

Clinical trials on a novel new type 2 diabetes treatment lowered glucose, did not increase lipids, and was well tolerated in patients with the chronic disease. The drug is an investigative liver-selective glucokinase activator, or GK activator, referred to as TTP399. It is a key regulator of glucose homeostasis. It is a member of the Hexokinase family and is expressed in the endocrine cells of the Langerhans islets of the liver, in the L- and K-cells of the intestines, and in the neurons of the central nervous system, in particular the hypothalamus. GK modulates blood glucose by inducing glucose-stimulated insulin ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson, Janssen face more lawsuits from Risperdal side effects, marketing practices

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he will ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider tossing out a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson over questionable marketing practices involving its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. McDaniel argues that the state misapplied the Medicaid fraud law and has requested an analysis comparing the 1993 law as it was passed to the way it was written into state code. The report, which he was granted a copy of, may be helpful in asking for a new hearing, he said. The lawsuit alleged Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals did not adequately ... Read More

Medical groups want children to have their cholesterol levels checked

Children ages 9-11 should have their cholesterol levels checked by their pediatricians, recommends the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. High cholesterol doesn’t just affect adults, it can occur in children as well. And it’s not always associated with obesity. By checking cholesterol levels in kids, doctors can identify risk factors early on to reduce their risk of heart disease as adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened after age 2 but no later than age 10. If the fasting lipid profile is normal, the test need not be repeated for another three to five years. ... Read More

Once-weekly injectable type 2 diabetes treatment just as effective as Victoza

Dulaglutide, an experimental once-weekly injectable treatment for type 2 diabetes, works just as well as the daily injectable drug Victoza (liraglutide), according to a new data from a clinical trial pitting the two diabetes drugs against each other. Even though dulaglutide did not perform better than Victoza, the results are considered a huge success since injectable medications are generally not favored by patients. Previous clinical trials have compared dulaglutide with the insulin drug metformin, and newer type 2 medications Byetta and Januvia, the latter of which is a leader in diabetes treatments with sales topping $4 billion a year. Dulaglutide ... Read More

Advances in medicine help with diagnosing, treating head injuries

Concussions are hardly a new diagnosis for football players. But how the conditions are diagnosed and treated have changed dramatically through the years, especially since researchers have found that sports-related head injuries can cause serious, long-term problems. Years ago, medical professionals only labeled a head injury a “concussion” if the athlete lost consciousness. However, researchers now say that only about one in 10 concussions result in loss of consciousness, and that head blows that don’t knock athletes out can be just as dangerous as the ones that do. Testing technology for head injuries has also been revised in recent years, ... Read More

European advisors give nod to GSK’s new type 2 diabetes treatment

A medical products advisory committee for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended approval for the marketing of GlaxoSmithKline’s type 2 diabetes treatment albiglutide. The experimental treatment would be marketed under the name Eperzan. If approved, Europe would be the only country in the world to offer the new drug. The EMA is not required to follow the recommendation of its advisory committee, but it typically does. Albiglutide is in a newer class of type 2 diabetes drugs known as glucagon-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Other drugs in this class include the brand name drugs Byetta and Victoza. These currently marketed ... Read More

Experimental genital herpes treatment fares well in small clinical trial

Clinical trials are showing promise for an experimental drug to treat genital herpes, a common, highly contagious, and incurable infection usually spread through sexual contact. The drug, called pritelivir, was found to substantially decrease “viral shedding,” which is the amount of time the virus was active and potentially transmissible to sexual partners. Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus, most often from a strain known as HSV-2. The infection can cause painful sores around the genitals, rectum or mouth, which can be reactivated periodically. Sometimes people experience no symptoms or only mild ones, however the disease can be ... Read More

FDA lifts hold on testing for novel blood cancer treatment tosedostat

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted a hold on it imposed on studies testing Cell Therapeutics’ experimental blood cancer treatment tosedostat. The agency had halted some studies on the drug last June after a patient being treated with the medication along with other drugs died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart usually caused by infection. Tosedostat was in mid-stage clinical testing when the death occurred. The FDA put a hold on the trial and asked for more information on patients enrolled in the study and whether any others had experienced cardiac-related effects. The agency also requested more ... Read More

FDA rejects novel drug for multiple sclerosis, cites safety concerns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected Sanofi’s Genzyme unit’s bid for the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada), citing inadequate data and concerns about life threatening side effects. The drug company says it disagrees with the FDA’s decision and will appeal. MS is a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as coordination problems and spasticity. Alemtuzumab is a novel treatment designed to down-regulate the inflammatory activity in MS. It is administered as an initial five-day course of infusions followed by a second three-day course a year later. The drug was pitted against beta-interferon, ... Read More